Geoffrey Colon on How to Navigate the “New Normal”

disruptive-marketingIn Disruptive Marketing (AMACOM August 2016), Geoffrey Colon suggests that that there is a new paradigm in marketing. The best minds (data punks, designers, and creative hybrids) “use social business models and insights instead of hierarchical org charts, while immersing themselves in the customer experience and creating culture. This is disruptive marketing. This is the new normal.”

Which personality traits will be most helpful when navigating this new, creative economic growth territory? Colon focuses on seven:

1. Listening skills: Those “who do all the talking cannot stay silent long enough to listen and learn. Know when to shut up.”

2. Curiosity: When “you are curious, you bring your whole self to whatever you are doing. You give it your full attention, and you have the energy and persistence you need to do something innovative.”

3. Emotional intelligence: Effective marketing “is about is about connecting with customers and clients in meaningful ways. This connect ting entails building friendships with your target audience so they adopt your culture.”

4. Creativity: It is “taking preexisting elements and integrating them in a way that has never been done before. Indeed, some may argue that creativity is the source of all innovations and improvements. And you build that creative vision is through experience.”

5. Abundance: A “growth hacker builds via customer experience, whereas an MBA-trained brand marketer uses monetization. The former is thinking about the customer; the latter is thinking simply about the company.”

6. Story making: “Ask yourself, ‘What story does my business allow others to build or make? How do they help translate a narrative with their POV to others?’”

7. Generalist expertise: “If you’re good with pay-per-click advertising and data, but you don’t understand the creative process that goes into producing video, creating imagery, or design, make an effort to learn more about how creative content [the new currency] is made. Don’t be an expert in one area. Be an expert in both.”

At the beginning of Chapter 12, Colon cites one of my favorite quotations from Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock (1970): “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

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To learn more about Geoff and his work, please click here.


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